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Weapons - the gladius

60 second histories

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A description of one of the most famous swords in history, the gladius; at over 50cm long Roman legionaries were well trained in using them.

Now this has to be one of the most famous swords in all of history, it’s a Roman Legionary’s gladius. This particular one is of the Pompeii type with a blade of good steel, it’s just over fifty centimetres long. It has a wooden hilt to protect your hand and prevent it slipping down the blade, the handle is made from bone and the pommel at the end of the handle is made from wood. Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my sword is worn on the right and it can be difficult to draw unless you’re trained. Let me show you. First you grip the handle with a reverse grip with your thumb down like this and then you bring the gladius vertically out of the scabbard and once the tip is clear bring the blade forward and point towards the enemy. The reason you have the gladius on your right is that you carry your shield in your left hand, so it would be difficult to draw the gladius from the left. The gladius is designed as a stabbing weapon and you have to be well trained to use it.
Key words: 
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